Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 10: To Know Christ

Where to start when given the honor to write about a man who so humbly has lived a truly remarkable life. It is the last full day in England and we are headed back to London where we will fly home tomorrow morning. We feel so blessed to be able to write this far into into the trip because Mr. John Haynes has impacted us more and more every day.

A couple days ago, we had the opportunity to sit down with John over a cup of coffee and just talk about his entire life. John was so gracious and transparent in sharing his experiences with us and answering our continuous stream of questions. After listening to John's story from the very beginning to current day, we asked John to give us his most valuable piece of life advice. Without hesitation, he looked at us and said: "The most valuable thing that you can do with your life is to know Christ and to raise your family to know Christ." This beautiful statement brought us to tears. John has been alive for 90 years. He served his country with valor in the Naval Armed Guard during WWII. He persevered through many obstacles to achieve his dream of becoming a Navy pilot. He worked his way into prestigious positions in the Federal Aviation Administration. He has lived all over the United States and all over the world. He has a beautiful wife of 67 years and four successful children.  He is loved and respected by every person he meets. All of this, yet he will still say at 90 years looking back on the rich and full life that he has lived, that knowing Christ is THE most important thing, because Christ is what bridges the gap between their generation and ours. God was with our veterans when they were fighting in the war, He is with us today as we travel back to the places where our men fought, and He will continue to lead our country in the future.

John Haynes has shown us what it means to live life and life it well. He has a disposition of wisdom and valor that is clear to everyone. When John talks, people listen, and they listen well. He has spoken so much biblical truth as well as truth that he has gathered from his own experiences.  One thing we noticed was that his life has been composed of several different seasons; some adventurous and exciting, some slow and still. but he taught us that every moment is important and plays a part in life's full story.

We both cannot explain how much we have grown to love and respect John Haynes. Our lives have been forever changed.

Arielle Pearson, junior
Duncan Tillack, sophomore


  1. As John's daughter I enjoyed reading your tribute about my amazing dad. It was perfect. Thank you. Renita

  2. I have anxiously awaited each and every blog during this incredible trip. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed being able to follow along with all of you during this adventure. Thank you so very much for the wonderful job you've done with this blog! God bless you all as you continue your safe journey back home. Jane Selvaggio, proud daughter of Tom Easterly

  3. John is affectionately known to the family as "pop". He is the patriarch of 4 kids, 13 grandkids and 20 (? losing count!) great grandkids. He is the best friend and dad a guy could ever want. In fact, he was best man at my wedding. I'm the youngest son, Robert. He taught me to fly, fish, hunt, have character and integrity and to see Christ. The observations about him are true. There is no man on the earth I revere more than Pop.